16 July 2018 - 5 Av 5778 - ה' אב ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Israeli woman killed in accident in Nepal E-mail

A young Israeli backpacker was killed and eight other hikers were injured in October when their jeep overturned several times and fell into a canyon near the Annapurna mountains in Nepal.

The hikers sent out a distress call via satellite phone to the international search and rescue company Magnus. Their location was tracked via satellite and rescue forces were sent to the Khayer Tal area to help them. Before the rescuers arrived, some of the slightly injured hikers were able to make their way to a nearby village, from where they called for help again. Arriving at the scene to offer assistance were Israel’s Consulate in the area, Chabad representative to Kathmandu Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, Abhishesh Subedi from flyeastNepal, and representatives from Magnus.

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Two men arrested in India for planning attack on synagogue E-mail

Local media in India have reported that two men associated with the Islamic State were arrested in October for allegedly planning to attack a local synagogue.

The anti-terrorism squad in the western Indian state of Gujarat arrested the men, residents of the port city of Surat. They are accused of planning to attack the synagogue in the Khadia area of Ahemdabad, the largest city in Gujarat.

The suspects did reconnaissance on the Magen Abraham synagogue on 12 September and were planning either an explosion or a shooting there, the Times of India reported. The men are allegedly ISIS operatives and had reportedly been in touch with an Indian ISIS handler based in Afghanistan. One of the men was arrested at his workplace and the other at his home, according to the report. Law enforcement officers seized cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices from both locations.

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Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong honours IsraTeam E-mail

The Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong held a special luncheon on 18 October at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong to honour IsraTeam, an organisation that assists the Israeli government in operational and emergency support in times of war, natural disasters and calamities.

IsraTeam provides crucial first-responder support in emergency situations and provides guidance and co-ordination for Israel Civil Defense.

The guests of honour were the Founder and CEO of IsraTeam, Brig. Gen. (Res.) Abraham Bachar, and the Vice President, Col. (Res.) Itai Peleg. During their addresses at the lunch, both men provided insights about their experiences over the years in the field of crisis management.

Col. (Res.) Itai Peleg also gave a presentation on the topic “PFA (Psychological First Aid) and Mental Resilience for Communities and First Responders”. His presentation covered the “6 C Mode” principles: Cognitive verbal Communication, Challenge, Control, Commitment and Continuity. The address included film footage of actual live emergency situations that IsraTeam is trained to handle. The team focuses on efficient interventions that reduce acute stress reactions and decrease the risk of future post-traumatic symptoms.

Peleg is a 25-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He spent 21 years in the Home Front Command, and as a current reserve officer in the Israel Home Front Command he is a District Commander in the Southern arena of Israel adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

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Chinese social media star in tears as he meets Holocaust survivor E-mail

Chinese social media star Yan Jingsheng broke down in tears during a meeting last month with a famous 93-yearold Holocaust survivor in Israel. The meeting was part of an Israeli-Chinese cultural exchange programme.

Eight Chinese social media stars had been invited to Israel as part of the Foreign Ministry’s “Young Chinese and Japanese leaders” programme, which was created by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to strengthen ties between the Jewish state and Asian countries.

The eight bloggers have a total of more than 35 million followers on China’s largest microblogging social media site, Sina Weibo, which is akin to an amalgam of Facebook and Twitter.

The bloggers met with 93-year-old Solomon Perel, the author of Europa Europa, a book that has been adapted into an Oscar-nominated movie based on his real-life story of impersonating a Hitler Youth member to survive the Holocaust.

One of the Chinese bloggers, Yan Jingsheng, a historian with six million social media followers, broke down in tears when he learned he was shaking the hand of the hero of Europa Europa.

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Special celebration marks 50th anniversary of a Bar Mitzvah in Hong Kong E-mail

A special occasion was celebrated at the Ohel Leah Synagogue in Hong Kong on Shabbat Bereshit, 14 October, as the community marked the 50th anniversary of Robert Dorfman’s Bar Mitzvah at that very same synagogue.

In keeping with his original Sedrah and reading, Robert recited some of his portion and offered a retrospective sermon. The Dorfman family also invited the whole community to a celebratory Kiddush following the service.

Robert has been an active participant in many significant events in the history of Hong Kong’s Jewish community. He was one of the former Trustees of the Ohel Leah Synagogue Charity well over 25 years ago, was instrumental in securing and driving the modern Jewish community centre. He has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support Jewish education through the establishment of Carmel School, and supported Israel through his role in developing a strong (United Israel Appeal) UIA chapter in Hong Kong.

With the Hong Kong community being fairly transient in nature, Robert’s Bar Mitzvah anniversary celebration was unique — it is noteworthy that someone who was actually Bar Mitzvahed at Ohel Leah is still here to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event.

In his Shabbat morning address Robert reflected that 50 years ago, October 1967, was actually a very difficult time in Hong Kong. For the previous six months, there had been riots on the streets of the city as fallout from the Cultural Revolution was taking place in China at that time. People were emigrating in record numbers, and others were openly asking whether the British would retain Hong Kong as a British Crown Colony until 1997 or abandon it earlier.

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